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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"Say," said Drouet, coming over to her after a few moments, with
a new idea, and putting his hand upon her.

"Donít!" said Carrie, drawing away, but not removing her
handkerchief from her eyes.

"Never mind about this quarrel now. Let it go. You stay here until
the monthís out, anyhow, and then you can tell better what you
want to do. Eh?"

Carrie made no answer.

"Youíd better do that," he said. "Thereís no use your packing up
now. You canít go anywhere."

Still he got nothing for his words.

"If youíll do that, weíll call it off for the present and Iíll get out."

Carrie lowered her handkerchief slightly and looked out of the
window.

"Will you do that?" he asked.

Still no answer.

"Will you?" he repeated.

She only looked vaguely into the street.

"Aw! come on," he said, "tell me. Will you?"

"I donít know," said Carrie softly, forced to answer.

"Promise me youíll do that," he said, "and weíll quit talking about
it. Itíll be the best thing for you."

Carrie heard him, but she could not bring herself to answer
reasonably. She felt that the man was gentle, and that his interest
in her had not abated, and it made her suffer a pang of regret. She
was in a most helpless plight.

As for Drouet, his attitude had been that of the jealous lover. Now
his feelings were a mixture of anger at deception, sorrow at losing
Carrie, misery at being defeated. He wanted his rights in some
way or other, and yet his rights included the retaining of Carrie,
the making her feel her error.

"Will you?" he urged.

"Well, Iíll see," said Carrie.

This left the matter as open as before, but it was something. It
looked as if the quarrel would blow over, if they could only get
some way of talking to one another. Carrie was ashamed, and
Drouet aggrieved. He pretended to take up the task of packing
some things in a valise.

Now, as Carrie watched him out of the corner of her eye, certain
sound thoughts came into her head. He had erred, true, but what
had she done? He was kindly and good-natured for all his
egotism. Throughout this argument he had said nothing very
harsh. On the other hand there was Hurstwood-a greater deceiver
than he. He had pretended all this affection, all this passion, and
he was lying to her all the while. Oh, the perfidy of men! And she
had loved him. There could be nothing more in that quarter. She
would see Hurstwood no more. She would write him and let him
know what she thought. Thereupon what would she

do? Here were these rooms. Here was Drouet, pleading for her to
remain. Evidently things could go on here somewhat as before, if
all were arranged. It would be better than the street, without a
place to lay her head.

All this she thought of as Drouet rummaged the drawers for
collars and laboured long and painstakingly at finding a shirt-stud.
He was in no hurry to rush this matter. He felt an attraction to
Carrie which would not down. He could not think that the thing
would end by his walking out of the room. There must be some
way round, some way to make her own up that he was right and
she was wrong-to patch up a peace and shut out Hurstwood for
ever. Mercy how he turned at the manís shameless duplicity.

"Do you think," he said, after a few momentsí silence, "that youíll
try and get on the stage?"

He was wondering what she was intending.

"I donít know what Iíll do yet," said Carrie.

"If you do, maybe I can help you. Iíve got a lot of friends in that
line."

She made no answer to this.

"Donít go and try to knock around now without any money. Let
me help you," he said. "Itís no easy thing to go on your own hook
here."
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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